Steam Traps Inspection using Ultrasound

icon.highlightedarticle.dark Tech & Maintenance Last modified: 9 May 2023
Article image of: Steam Traps Inspection using Ultrasound
Article image of: Steam Traps Inspection using Ultrasound
Article image of: Steam Traps Inspection using Ultrasound

When steam traps leak or fail, it can be extremely costly in terms of product quality, safety and energy loss.

There are differences in the way particular steam traps work. Ultrasound technology can be used for determining operating conditions of any type: inverted bucket, thermostatic, thermodynamic, float & thermostatic traps & one-way valves. We typically look for 2 factors in operating conditions:

1. Internal leakage: Partial, open or closed condition.
2. Modulation: in operating condition is it modulating accordingly to specification?

An Ultraprobe makes it easy to determine operating conditions while steam traps are on-line.

Why inspect steam traps?

It is important to maintain your steam traps correctly. The consequences of faulty steam traps cannot be ignored:

– Safety: Water hammer can cause serious damage to your equipment & people!
– Manufacturing Process efficiency: Maintaining correct temperatures in your process
– Preservation of condensate return lines: Water in pipes will cause rusting
– Cost reduction: It is not uncommon to have partial leaking traps costing you in excess of 10,000 Euro/year on just wasting energy consumption!

A regular inspection route on a frequent bases is highly recommended. Statistics show that it will help you improve cost, efficiency and a good running process.

How ultrasonic leak detection works

Steam traps can either be defined as continuous (or modulating continuous) flow and “on-off” (hold-discharge-hold) types. UE Systems’ Ultraprobe series helps an inspector readily identify the trap operation in all types of environments.

Inspectors can choose from simple analog instruments to sophisticated digital instruments with on-board non-contact infrared thermometers, sound analysis and data logging features. UE Systems unique frequency tuning feature enables users to literally tune into the trap sound and clearly identify leaking or blowing traps.

Inspection methods vary depending on the type of steam trap. Therefore the primary rule is to know the details of your system. Ultrasonic steam trap inspection is considered a “positive” test in that an operator can instantly identify sound quality and intensity differentials and thereby determine operating condition accurately.

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Written by

UE Systems Europe

For more than 40 years, UE has produced thousands of ergonomically designed portable, and incredibly accurate airborne/structure borne ultrasonic instruments. Used primarily for leak detection, mechanical analysis and electrical inspection,... Read more

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